Monday, February 24, 2014

Off topic

A friend of mine suggested that I write some of my funny moments down somewhere as these are the things we will look back and laugh about (thanks for the inspiration Heather). If you know me well, you know I forget EVERYTHING, so I figured the blog would be the best place, although this one won't necessarily be about the wedding planning. This blog is meant as a place where we can come back to to remember the next year. So, where to begin...

This last weekend was a doozy! We went back to our old apartment (700km away) to finish up there and hand the keys over. So after work on Friday, around 5:00 we headed back to Dresden. When we got there it was around 11:00 and we started to fill the holes in the walls in order to prep for painting the next day. After filling the holes, we thought we would grab the paint from the basement just to be ready first thing in the morning. When we got down there we noticed that the movers didn't lock our basement door and one of the two barrels of paint was missing along with some painting supplies. What an easy target for someone who was painting their apartment white. Disappointed and tired at 1:00 we went to bed, on the floor as the apartment had no furniture in it. We thought we were in for it and would wake up and wouldn't be able to move but it was relatively comfortable!

We woke up on Saturday at 6:00 to start painting, we thought it would be early enough to have everything finished by 4:00 as that was when our 30 guests were to arrive for our engagement party. Again, to celebrate in an apartment with no furniture. When I opened the paint barrel I realized that the paint had been sitting for the last three years and was seriously separated. No wooden mixing stick could tackle this number. Sven struggled for about an hour using his hands and metal sticks to break it apart but eventually we gave up and decided to paint using the what was mixed and the clay chunks at the bottom wouldn't deter us. Saturday was great, Sven painted and I cleaned, we were very optimistic. We were finished around 11:00 which gave us plenty of time to collect the furniture we had rented, the balloons, the cake and to finish the decorating. Our guests arrived between 2:00 and 4:00 and had no idea that we had painted earlier on, it had already dried and the weather was great so we left the doors and windows open to air the place out. It was a great party, everyone mingled, ate and drank and I believe everyone enjoyed themselves. It was such a nice way to finish our time in Dresden with family and friends.

Our last guests left around 2:00 and we cleaned up a little and went to sleep, again on the floor. As the Canada vs. Sweden hockey game was on on Sunday at 1:00 we thought we would get up at 7:00 to do some touch ups on the walls, which we had been previously painted, and be finished before our friends came over to watch the hockey game with us. The day started slowly, we had a little bit too much fun on Saturday and what we thought was a great day of painting on Saturday, wasn't really so, we really had a lot of work left to do! Sven started to take down the light fixtures and I started to finish off some painting. As the liquid Sven had mixed on Saturday was running low, all we were left with was a clumpy clumpy mess! I did what I could, which wasn't much and Sven decided to take over. We tried to sift out the clumps using numerous gadgets, we tried to add water, anything to fix the clumpiness, nothing worked. One might ask at this point why we didn't just go out and buy more paint -valid idea, which we would have done in a heart beat, but everything in Europe is closed on Sundays except for the odd restaurant and coffee shop. So we were stuck, with clumpy paint. We also quickly realized that we didn't have enough paint to paint all of the walls and the ceilings, this was a serious issue as on Saturday we thought we would do all of it so Sven wasn't particularly careful when it came to the edge of the roof, we had to figure out what to do with the numerous bright white spots on our off white ceiling. The solution was to scrub the paint off of the ceiling, which actually worked quite well, with a lot of effort. Needless to say, we were not finished by 1:00. But our friends came over at 12 and they were more than willing to help us, thank goodness!

We took a break to watch the game, of course, and had pizza and beer, sitting on the floor, watching it from a laptop- I never said it was a luxurious weekend. Regardless how we watched it, it was a great game and I am so proud to be a Canadian abroad, way to go Canada!

Shortly after the game we were back to work! Sven finished painting, our friends Carsten and Marcus and I scrubbed the ceiling and the floors and around 4:00 I realized that we had another issue arise. As Sven had taken down all of the light fixtures, we had no light; so once the sun set, we were doomed! We rushed as fast as we could and really put in all of our efforts and finished around 6:30. We were all full of paint, Sven was practically white, Marcus and I were dirty from scrubbing paint off of the floor and Carsten was almost spotless, although he had a hard job of doing the scrubbing. At 6:30 one of Sven's groomsmen came over as he had just finished his weekend at the army and wanted to help. Sadly when he came we had just finished but we all enjoyed one last beer together, in the kitchen, in the dark.

We loaded up the car and left Dresden around 7:00, which was really late, we were hoping to leave at 4:00 to get home before midnight but got home shortly after 1:00. We unpacked and headed straight to our comfortable, warm bed, I can do without sleeping on the floor for a while.

When I look back at the weekend I am so proud of everything we did, we pulled off an amazing engagement party with little sleep and overcame hurdle after hurdle with painting the apartment. We really could not have done it without our friends help though, so Marcus and Carsten, thank you so so much! Ihr seit die beste!!

As we finished in Dresden so late and had no lights in the apartment, or course we could not shower or anything to get the paint off of us so we just started driving, We probably looked like the biggest weirdos ever, especially when I had to go to the washroom at a FULL McDonalds with my painting clothes still on and paint in my hair.
It was a bitter sweet weekend to remember. We left Dresden with so many great memories and good friends. There will always be a place for Dresden in our hearts.Thank you for the wonderful last 3 years, Dresden.

Here are some photos of our engagement party. Sadly we had so many guests I wasn't able to keep up on the mingling and photography, but I managed to get a few. Thank you again to everyone who came and celebrated with us.

The bakery did an amazing job with our cake. Unfortunately, it split coming home, but it still looked great.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Not what I had in mind

I haven't written a post in a few weeks, for one because we just moved, practically to a new country, 700kms away from our old city, we have 2 apartments to manage at the moment, trying to get settled at the new one while get rid of the old one isn't the easiest thing to do with such a large distance in between. Aside from that chaos, I have had massive amounts of university to catch up on which I procrastinated about for the last 2 months, so needless to say, the last 2 weeks has kicked me in the butt!

Apart from that, this wedding planning has taken a turn, it is so hard to find venues that we love yet don't break the bank, like, REALLY break the bank. We want our day(s) to be really special and something we will never forget but we also want to build a house and have children in the future so we cannot justify some of the prices that are out there (keep in mind, we are paying for both weddings completely on our own) so we've had a bump in the road in the venue department for the last week.

In the end we have committed to two gorgeous venues. The venue in Germany isn't actually that which we had most recently thought about but a place that has always had our hearts, this place is seriously elegant and we have had many great memories there. When Sven and I first met, we knew we had something special and of course tossed the idea around about getting married, he told me he had this vision of us getting married at a specific castle in Germany where they had a beautiful vineyard where you could walk up to the top of it and see the whole city. I couldn't imagine it so thought nothing of it, really. Fast forward 6 months, we were invited to a birthday celebration at a restaurant in a castle in Dresden. Sven told me nothing about this place beforehand other than it had good wine. As soon as we got there, I fell in love and told him we had to get married there. He laughed and told me that this was the place that he had told me about the previous year, and he had always envisioned it for our wedding. However, Dresden has A LOT of castles, more than I could ever imagine, I fell in love with so many castles over the last 3 years that I forgot the charm this one had, you simply cannot describe the feeling there. So after talking to their wedding coordinator we have decided that this will be where we will get married. It has more meaning to us than just being a beautiful castle, this was 'our' castle before I even got to see it.

With having chosen a venue for Germany, we knew roughly our budget for the venue in Vancouver. We have justified spending more than anticipated for the venue in Vancouver as it will be more stress to plan it from afar and this venue can provide all services and really has a lot of experience in weddings. It is so important to us to get married on the ocean and so, it will the the Brock House Restaurant. It is such a beautiful venue right near the ocean with a view of the mountains, it really presents everything that Vancouver is about. It has had great reviews and is voted one of the top 10 venues in Vancouver. It is everything that we wanted in a location in Vancouver.

We cannot wait to have the dates booked (at the end of the week)! I think everything will just feel more organised with official dates and places, rather than trying to imagine something without a vision of the venue.

In two weeks we are having our engagement party in Dresden with friends and Sven's family, it will be so nice to celebrate with everyone as well as say goodbye to our old apartment. We have had so many memories in that city and it will be so nice to finish our time there with 50 of our close friends and family.

So much has changed this year already, but I think there will be more changes in the year to come.